SCREEN MASK TRANSFORMATION IN SERVER-BASED SYSTEMS
MaTriX (screen mask transformation in server-based systems) is our tool to modernise proprietary, antiquated
user interfaces on server-based software systems. With MaTriX, these interfaces can be replaced by contemporary
standardised technologies such as the modern web technologies HTML5 and Ajax.
User interfaces on server-based systems often still have the charm of the 1970s and 1980s:
- The screen mask windows are often limited to 80 x 25 characters.
- Functional keys are very important for navigating downward and backward, and alternatives are selected by placing
an "X" beside an input field.
- Inputs can be checked only after sending the screen mask; reactions during the input are not possible.
- There are no modern GUI design features such as menus, links, combo boxes, etc.
- The size of the message that serves for data exchange between the proprietary screen mask system and the production
control system can be limited to a defined (low) number of characters.
MaTriX is characterised by the following features:
- The server programs and the middleware remain unchanged.
These programs contain a considerable amount of know-how. They were maintained and improved over decades and
often have existential importance for the companies.
- MaTriX uses modern web technologies.
Modern technologies such as HTML5 and Ajax are used for the development of Web-2.0-based interfaces.
- The client display is browser-based.
Thus no software must be installed on clients, which significantly contributes to cost savings. Furthermore,
numerous possible client architectures (PCs with Windows, Linux or Mac, Android systems, etc.) are supported.
- HTTP is used as the standard protocol for client-server communication.
Transparent client-server communication is thereby guaranteed.
- MaTriX contains a graphical screen mask editor.
With this editor, new interfaces are developed intuitively and comfortably according to the WYSIWYG (what you
see is what you get) principle. Extended elements for screen mask design are
available. The editor is graphically linked to the COBOL message structure, which defines the interface between
the COBOL server programs and the screen masks. The display and input elements of the screen mask can be connected
with the data fields of the message via this link. The editor is laid out as a web application; local installation
on the client is not required.